Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 2, 1864

February 2, 1864

—As Pickett’s forces approach New Bern, more skirmishing begins in the area, and a small naval force–several hundred men in small boats, under Cmdr. John Taylor Wood, C.S.N.-- approaches up the Neuse River and attacks the U.S.S. Underwriter, a gunboat on the Upper Neuse.  Wood’s men overwhelm the watch onboard the Underwriter, seizing control, and before Union shore guns can come to bear on the now-captured vessel, the Rebels have fired the ship and run her aground.  The Federal commander reports the ship a total loss, and argues that he no longer has enough naval power to protect the base at New Bern. 

—Louis Leon, a Confederate soldier in the 53rd North Carolina Infantry, writes of his delight in getting a furlough:

    February 2—While hard at work in the woods,, hauling stocks for the mill, my furlough came, for eighteen days. So I was relieved. On the 3d I left camp and got home on the morning of the 6th. It took me several days to get accustomed to living as a civilian, as I have been in camp for two years at a stretch. I had a very good time, and will always be grateful for the kindness shown me by every one while at home.

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